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    Repiglican Roast

    A spirited discussion of public policy and current issues

    Name:
    Location: The mouth of being

    I'm furious about my squandered nation.

    Monday, October 31, 2005

    A Patriot Crashes the Party

    A patriot crashes the party
    Published October 29 2005
    The most patriotic element of George Bush's speech in Norfolk on Friday morning wasn't the flags on the big "Strategy for Victory" sign behind the podium.

    It wasn't the backdrop bleachers artfully decorated with warm bodies in military uniforms.

    It was the moment early on when a man stood up in Chrysler Hall, yanked open his shirt to expose his "Dump Bush" T-shirt in full view of shocked members of Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network seated nearby and cried, "War is terrorism! Torture is terrorism!" before he was hustled out by security people.

    "That was me," says Tom Palumbo, anti-war activist and, now, presidential party-crasher. "I think maybe he heard me. I know he looked befuddled."

    So ... Bush's cone of silence can be cracked.
    yes, but can his cone of stupidity be cracked? I very much doubt it.

    An "invitation-only," meticulously scripted, rah-rah presidential appearance can be infiltrated by a lone punman who thinks it's that important for our tone-deaf leader to "hear the other side."

    How did a noisy peacenik like Palumbo make it past security? Simple, he says: "I had a ticket."More BushRun national security in action.

    He got it by calling Rep. Thelma Drake's office, which referred him to the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, which had invited Bush to speak. The chamber gave Palumbo a ticket, no questions asked. Hmm, wonder what they would have done if his name were Osama or something along those lines? Why, he'd be at Gitmo by now!

    "Why wouldn't they give it to me, let me ask you?" Palumbo says - a fair question in a democracy constitutionally committed to free and vigorous debate at all levels of government.This is no democracy, dude.

    In a real American democracy, whenever the president speechifies to the public, the doors would be flung open to all citizens.

    True, those citizens might be X-rayed and frisked, but they wouldn't be vetted according to their personal or political views first.Bush always does that.

    But it's not so fair a question in this new age of fear-mongering - an age excruciatingly laid out in Bush's warmed-over speech about how radical Islamism is this generation's Communism, or the Red Scare of the 21st century. Uh, I'm much more frightened of cancer and repiglikkkans sporting WMD than I am of "Islamic Jihad."

    Bush has used this speech several times in the past month, with no sense of irony or appreciation that the Red Scare unbridled also gave us Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, the loyalty oath, the blacklist, duck-and-cover, backyard bomb shelters, mass hysteria masquerading as patriotism and civil liberties in a stranglehold.

    Certainly terrorism is a threat. So is a pandemic. So is smoking. So is poverty, environmental ravages, federal disaster relief as oxymoron, corporate excesses, indicted White House aides and the public's confidence in its own chief public servant in free fall. These threats, however, got no mention Friday.

    Instead, we heard about Osama bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Even about Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot. About "facing a radical ideology with unalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world."That's BushCo alright, radical objective to enslave the world, especially Muslims in oil rich countries, but here at home too.

    About "exposed and disrupted 'nucular' programs" and "cold-blooded contempt for human life." About the "rage of killers" and "evil men who want to use horrendous weapons against us ... working in deadly earnest to gain them."

    Boo.

    Bush also berated tyrants who "seek to end dissent in every form," which brings us back to Palumbo.Yeah, like the article said, no sense of irony.

    After Palumbo exposed his politics in Chrysler Hall, Secret Service agents grabbed him by the arms and shoulders and escorted him outside. He didn't resist. They didn't force the issue.

    They turned him over to local police, who asked who he was, what he said and how he got his ticket. He was fully prepared for arrest, but the police saw no need. Before they let him go, they took his picture. "I smiled," Palumbo says, "and gave them the peace sign."

    The man is too savvy to believe Bush's speech would have been anything but what it was.

    But he insists that if Bush "had said we were bringing the troops home, I wouldn't have said anything. If he'd said, 'We're funding our schools,' I would've stood up and given him a standing O."

    Instead, he says, the speech was the same old "fear-based mentality."

    "And if we're operating out of fear," Palumbo says, "all we're going to do is shoot into the dark."

    Friday was the first time he's breached the white tower. Even if he was thrown out on his activism, he counts it a success.

    "Absolutely," Palumbo says. "He's delusional if he believes that the American people support him in this venture. If it takes a citizen like meanother unsung American hero, and he didn't do it in uniform. to stand up ... If we didn't throw teabags off the ship, we'd still be under British rule."

    Funny how our George can makes us nostalgic for that George, and wonder if it's too late to get those tea bags back.

    Tamara Dietrich can be reached at tdietrich@dailypress.com or at 247-7892.

    Download the Legend of Sleep Hollow

    if you're like me and can't find your copy.

    Sunday, October 30, 2005

    Priorities

    How many billions of tax payer dollars have been bilked recirculated to the ownership society defense contractors and oil field services by the illegal, immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq?
    I love the health care issue because it is the most pervasive, affecting every company and every individual in the country, and is an excellent demonstration of how the feudal lords crusaders repiglikkkans will choose money over Jesus life every day of the week.

    House Panel Approves Medicaid Cuts
    By Andrew Taylor Associated Press Writer

    Published: Oct 28, 2005

    WASHINGTON (AP) - A key House committee late Thursday approved a proposal to curb Medicaid spending by about $9.5 billion by the end of the decade, advancing a plan to slow spending on the federal government's health care program for the poor and disabled.

    The Energy and Commerce Committee voted a party-line 28-22 for the measure, over protests from panel Democrats who said Republicans were trying to cut the deficit on the backs of poor. Republicans countered that they were making only modest trims - about 1 percent - in a program predicted to cost $1.1 trillion over the same period.

    The Medicaid measure is to be folded into a sprawling budget bill to implement Republican plans that would, for the first time in eight years, take on the growth of federal programs such as food stamps, farm subsidies and student loan subsidies. The plan also would also raise revenue by auctioning television airwaves to wireless companies and leasing parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil drilling.

    The belt-tightening comes even as the Senate on Thursday approved by voice vote $8 billion in emergency spending to prepare vaccines and antiviral drugs and make sure health facilities are ready for an outbreak of much-feared bird flu.

    And the White House is expected to ask Congress on Friday to redirect $17 billion in already approved hurricane relief funds to projects like repairing highways and federal facilities damaged by the storms.

    Such moves illustrate the pressure to boost spending, even as the Republican-dominated House implements its budget plans. The Senate is scheduled to debate a companion $39 billion deficit-cutting plan starting Monday.

    The House Medicaid plan would impose new co-payments on Medicaid beneficiaries and would allow states to scale back coverage. It also would tighten rules designed to limit the ability of elderly people to shed assets in order to qualify for nursing home care, lower pharmacy profit margins and encourage pharmacies to issue generic drugs.

    The House bill would extract significantly less savings from drug manufacturers and pharmacies than would a companion Senate measure. Beneficiaries would bear a greater share of the cuts, with advocates for the poor noting that working families would shoulder the greatest burden.

    And, for the first time, people with significant home equity of $500,000 would be ineligible for nursing home care under Medicaid.

    "Medicaid is a victim of its own success. The program has grown so expansive that it is unsustainable in its current form," said panel Chairman Joe Barton, R-Texas. "The reforms we are offering ... will help to save the program while at the same time protecting the poorest of our society."

    Panel Democrats lost a series of votes to ease the cuts.

    The Senate, meanwhile, completed floor action on fiscal 2006 spending bills, voting 94-3 to pass a massive measure covering health, education and labor programs.

    The legislation, the largest of the spending bills Congress considers every year, includes $146 billion for non-entitlement programs and about $458 billion for benefits such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

    Among the programs are $29.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health, $6.9 billion for Head Start and $12.8 billion in aid for high-poverty schools.

    Citing budgetary restraints, the GOP-led Senate rejected mainly Democratic proposals to boost spending significantly for such programs as the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, funded at $2.2 billion; Pell grants, budgeted at $13.2 billion; and the Individuals with Disabilities Act, funded at $11.7 billion.

    The legislation now goes to House-Senate negotiations. So far Congress has completed, and the president has signed, only three of the 11 spending bills that fund federal programs for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

    The Agriculture Committee, meanwhile, postponed until Friday a vote on a $3.7 billion plan to curb farm subsidies and tighten eligibility requirements for the food stamp program. The committee's earlier target was slightly higher but GOP leaders gave panel Chairman Robert Goodlatte, R-Va., a break after another committee exceeded its savings goal.

    With a lower savings target, Goodlatte dropped one of his more controversial food stamp proposals - which would block states from extending benefits for childless adults facing hardships such as homelessness - and modified another affecting legal immigrants.

    AP-ES-10-28-05 0036EDT
    And from the paper that brought you the second term
    October 30, 2005
    Congress Weighs Big Cuts to Medicaid and Medicare

    By ROBERT PEAR
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 - Congressional committees have proposed substantial cutbacks in Medicaid and Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance programs, which together cover more than one-fourth of all Americans.

    The two houses of Congress are expected to approve the changes in the next two weeks as part of competing bills to slow the growth of federal spending. Negotiators from the two chambers would then try to work out the differences.

    The House bill would take all of its savings from Medicaid, the program for low-income people, while leaving Medicare, the program for those 65 and older and the disabled, untouched, as the Bush administration wants. By contrast, the Senate bill would squeeze savings from both programs.

    Under the House bill, states would gain sweeping authority to charge premiums, increase co-payments and trim benefits for Medicaid recipients, so benefit packages would look more like the private insurance provided by employers.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimated that these changes would save the federal government more than $4 billion in the next five years, with savings of more than $3 billion for the states.

    Governors of both parties, troubled by the soaring cost of Medicaid, have been pleading with Congress to let them make such changes. They said their record on welfare showed they could be trusted with the new authority.

    Under the current Medicaid law and rules, co-payments for most adults cannot exceed $3 for goods and services like prescription drugs and visits to doctors.

    The House bill, drafted by Representative Joe L. Barton, Republican of Texas, would gradually increase the maximum co-payment, to $5 in 2008. In later years, the ceiling would rise automatically, to match increases in the consumer price index for medical care.

    States could end coverage for Medicaid recipients who refused to pay premiums, and health care providers could deny services to those who failed to pay the new charges. Poor children under 18 years old would be exempt from cost-sharing requirements.

    "I trust the states," said Mr. Barton, the chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce.

    Representative Nathan Deal, Republican of Georgia, said, "If people have a personal stake in the cost of their health care, they will use it more responsibly."

    But Representative Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, said, "Higher co-payments will lead people to forgo needed medical care."

    "To listen to some of the personal responsibility arguments," Ms. Baldwin said, "one might think that people line up to see their doctors the way they line up to see a rock concert or sporting event, and the only way to control this irrational hunger or thirst for medical care is to make it more expensive. I just don't buy that."

    Federal auditors and investigators have repeatedly found that Medicaid overpays pharmacies. The Senate and House bills would reduce those payments. The Senate bill would also require drug manufacturers to give larger discounts to Medicaid, a provision not included in the House bill.

    Craig L. Fuller, president of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, a trade group, said he did not understand how House Republicans could cut payments to pharmacies and increase co-payments for poor people without requiring drug manufacturers to make any contribution to the savings.

    But Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a lobbying organization for brand-name drug companies, said the price concessions required by the Senate bill could hurt Medicaid recipients and other patients by forcing drug makers to "reduce research and development of life-saving medicines."

    The White House has told lawmakers that they should not tamper with Medicare. President Bush does not want Congress to alter the prescription drug benefit, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, or other provisions of the 2003 Medicare law.

    House Republican leaders followed that advice, but the Senate did not. The Senate Finance Committee voted to eliminate a $10 billion fund that can be used to increase payments to private insurers, as an incentive for them to enter and stay in the Medicare program.

    The committee chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, said the money was not immediately needed because private plans were rushing into Medicare.

    The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, an independent federal panel, has urged Congress to eliminate the $10 billion fund, saying it gives an unfair advantage to plans known as regional preferred provider organizations, or P.P.O.'s.

    Karen M. Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, said, "This fund has been described as a slush fund by critics, but the reality is that beneficiaries, not health plans, will be helped by this funding."

    With the extra payments, Ms. Ignagni said, more insurers would offer low-cost, high-quality benefits to people in rural areas and other markets where such options were unavailable.

    The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association warned Congress that if it eliminated the $10 billion fund, it would show that "the government is an unreliable business partner." Blue Cross lobbyists said this would cause some insurers to reconsider their participation in Medicare.


    Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

    CACI Wins Two Defense Department Network Services Deals

    A privatization parasite.

    What is CACI's customer mix of business?
    In FY05

    72.7% of CACI's revenue came from the DoD
    21.6% from federal civilian agencies (e.g., Department of Justice, FAA)
    4.2% from commercial sources
    1.5% from state and local government customers

    What were CACI's FY05 revenue and income?
    For the full fiscal year, revenue increased 42% to $1.62B, versus $1.15B of revenue for FY04. Approximately 16% of the revenue growth was organic and across a broad base of Department of Defense, intelligence and federal civilian agency customers. The remaining 26% of the revenue growth was from acquisitions. Operating income increased 44% to $151.1M compared with $104.7M in FY04.

    Net income for FY05 was $85.3M, or $2.79 per diluted share, an increase of 34% over net income of $63.7M, or $2.13 per diluted share, reported in FY04. The company's operating margin increased to 9.3% for the year, up from 9.1% during FY04. Net cash provided by operations for FY05 was a record $137M, an increase of 81% from FY04.

    What are CACI's total assets?
    As of June 30, 2005, the end of FY05, CACI's total assets were $1.204B.


    CACI Wins Two Defense Department Network Services Deals
    2005-10-27
    Newsbytes


    By Ethan Butterfield, Contributing Staff Writer

    The Defense Department has awarded two one-year contracts totaling $19.8 million to CACI International Inc. of Arlington, Va., to provide managed network services for the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

    The first contract is for $15.2 million to support two OSD offices and to provide overall enterprise architecture. The second contract is a $4.6 million project to support four other OSD components.

    Both projects support OSD transformation initiatives to consolidate IT services and will standardize services for classified and unclassified networks that include systems directly supporting homeland security and the war on terrorism.

    The OSD is the principal staff element of the secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal and program evaluation responsibilities. It includes 17 separate components, each with differing IT contracts and levels of support.

    CACI will work on standardization and integration across six components and 7,000 users. The company will support networks ranging from business management to homeland security, disaster recovery and the war on terrorism.

    Ethan Butterfield is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

    Reported By GCN Daily Updates, http://www.gcn.com

    I LOVE Halloween!

    Always have.
    I recognize the difference between Halloween and Samhain (which I know how to pronounce), and I still love the crassly commercial, consumer culture on massive sugar high, costumed, silly-scary movie, bobbing for apples, full moon-or-not extravaganza that is halloween. I like it much better than Christmas.
    I have Pumpkin lights, skeleton lights, bat lights, ghost lights and Frankenstein head lights. I don't have any of them up this year. Bush makes me so not celebratory, the bastard.


    I love the pumpkin lights best. I used to keep them year round, though I didn't turn them on much in the summer.

    (Spooky) Halloween Site

    Their correspondence is so gushing.
    But this is an unrequited love.

    in a letter to me from The GOP

    I'm Mercy Schlapp, host of a brand new web show on GOP.com called "In The Know." "In The Know" will keep you constantly connected to President Bush and the Republican Party as we work together to move America forward. "In The Know" is completely interactive and available only on the RNC's Web site, GOP.com.

    Click here to watch the first "In The Know" on GOP.com!

    For our premier show, we take a "Front Page" look at the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts and the nomination of Harriet Miers. We then take a look at the rebuilding efforts of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and we bring you coverage in English and Spanish of the "Life of the Party" celebrating Hispanic Heritage month. We are "On the Move" in Pittsburgh, PA with Chairman Ken Mehlman at our Party's summer meeting, and finally, we wrap things up with a few interesting trivia questions in our "Did You Know?" segment.

    Watch "In The Know" now on GOP.com and make sure to check out the special features segment to see some extra footage off the cutting room floor that didn't make it into the main show!

    We hope you enjoy this edition of "In The Know" and we want your help to make each edition better. Email us at intheknow@GOP.com with your suggestions and ideas for improvements, new topics, special guests, or even trivia questions. Each edition of "In The Know" and our entire Web site, GOP.com, will keep you connected to President Bush and the Republican Party as we work together to enact our strong agenda to move America forward.

    Sincerely,



    Mercy Schlapp

    Saturday, October 29, 2005

    More Freedom of the Press

    · · Vol 26 · Issue 1299 · PUBLISHED 10/26/2005
    URL: www.citypages.com/databank/26/1299/article13800.asp
    HOME: www.citypages.com

    Casualty of War
    No peace at the Pioneer Press
    by Paul Demko

    On the last Saturday of September, Tim Mahoney, a part-time copy editor with the St. Paul Pioneer Press, attended a peace rally in Washington, D.C. He traveled on one of three buses organized by St. Joan of Arc Church, a Catholic parish in Minneapolis where he is an active member. The demonstration, which attracted upward of 100,000 people to the nation's capitol, was one of the largest such gatherings since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

    "On our part it was a silent march," recalls Mahoney, who has worked at the Pioneer Press for five years, following similar stints at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Capitol Times in Madison, Wisconsin. "We just marched around the White House, period."

    While Mahoney was on the bus trip, a Pioneer Press editor called his home to find out if he was available to work that weekend. Hurricane Rita had just touched down on the Texas-Louisiana border and extra bodies were needed on the copy desk.

    Upon learning that Mahoney had participated in the Washington peace march, some unnamed editor in the Pi Press chain of command launched an internal investigation to determine whether such activities constituted a breach of the paper's ethics policy. Mahoney was interviewed about the trip by his immediate supervisor. "It was kind of a friendly interview, so I thought they would drop it," he says. "It didn't seem like much of a case to me."

    Last week, however, Mahoney learned the outcome of the investigation: He was suspended from work for three days without pay. In addition, Mahoney was informed that he would no longer be allowed to edit any stories about the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was also made clear, in a letter written by senior editor Mike Bulger, that participation in any similar political activities would result in his termination.

    The decision has left Mahoney and many of his Pioneer Press colleagues flummoxed. "There is an issue of conscience, of religion," he says. "I'm not trying to put myself forth as any kind of pious person at all. I'm not. But it's a matter of personal belief. It seemed to me--and still does--completely harmless to the interests of the Pioneer Press."

    Mahoney's personal knowledge of warfare makes the decision even more galling. He served as a rifleman in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War. "It's sort of where I learned that wars are not pretty and that you better be fighting for something worthwhile because a lot of very bad things happen," he says. "I learned that firsthand."

    It is not the first time in recent memory that a Pioneer Press staffer has been disciplined for political activities that supposedly violated the newspaper's ethics policy. Last October, reporters Charles Laszewski and Rick Linsk were each suspended for three days for attending the "Vote for Change" concert featuring Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M., which raised money for John Kerry's presidential campaign.

    The two reporters filed a grievance through their union, the Newspaper Guild, protesting the disciplinary action. According to Guild executive officer Mike Sweeney, that grievance has now been settled, but the terms are unknown because it is subject to a confidentiality agreement. "We have a tentative agreement," says Sweeney. "It hasn't been signed yet. The matter has been settled to the parties' mutual satisfaction."

    Because the terms of that agreement are secret, it's not clear what kind of precedent it sets for Mahoney's situation. But the Newspaper Guild intends to file a grievance on his behalf this week. "He was exercising his beliefs--religious, as well as social and moral--and the paper is saying he can't do that," notes Sweeney. "And he's a part-time copy editor, for Christ's sake. I was speechless when I heard this."

    Thom Fladung, who took over as editor of the St. Paul daily late last month, says he has no problem with staff members participating in peace marches. "The problem comes in when the employee doesn't communicate with us ahead of time. I have no intention of telling people what to do in their private lives." For his part, Mahoney questions the viability of an ethics policy that apparently mandates that Pioneer Press staffers somehow be devoid of any political beliefs. "There's a lot of bias in all newsrooms," he notes. "Everybody has an opinion."

    · · Vol 26 · Issue 1299 · PUBLISHED 10/26/2005
    URL: www.citypages.com/databank/26/1299/article13800.asp
    HOME: www.citypages.com

    City Pages is the Online News and Arts Weekly of the Twin Cities

    Map of the Day



    The link is to a page so gloriously paranoid I could have written it myself.

    Can anyone here tell me why we invaded Afghanistan, who is in control there and what is their relationship to the US, and what John Maresca, vice president international relations, Unocal Corporation, said to congress in 1998?

    From the 1998 Congressional Record.


    U.S. INTERESTS IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN
    REPUBLICS HEARING BEFORE THE
    SUBCOMMITTEE ON ASIA AND THE PACIFIC
    OF THE COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL
    RELATIONS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

    ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION
    FEBRUARY 12, 1998

    Next we would like to hear from Mr. John J. Maresca, vice president of international relations, Unocal Corporation. You may proceed as you wish.

    STATEMENT OF JOHN J. MARESCA, VICE
    PRESIDENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, UNOCAL CORPORATION

    Mr. Maresca. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It's nice to see you again. I am John Maresca, vice president for international relations of the Unocal Corporation. Unocal, as you know, is one of the world's leading energy resource and project development companies. I appreciate your invitation to speak here today. I believe these hearings are important and timely. I congratulate you for focusing on Central Asia oil and gas reserves and the role they play in shaping U.S. policy.

    I would like to focus today on three issues. First, the need for multiple pipeline routes for Central Asian oil and gas resources. Second, the need for U.S. support for international and regional efforts to achieve balanced and lasting political settlements to the conflicts in the region, including Afghanistan. Third, the need for structured assistance to encourage economic reforms and the development of appropriate investment climates in the region. In this regard, we specifically support repeal or removal of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act.

    Mr. Chairman, the Caspian region contains tremendous untapped hydrocarbon reserves. Just to give an idea of the scale, proven natural gas reserves equal more than 236 trillion cubic feet. The region's total oil reserves may well reach more than 60 billion barrels of oil. Some estimates are as high as 200 billion barrels. In 1995, the region was producing only 870,000 barrels per day. By 2010, western companies could increase production to about 4.5 million barrels a day, an increase of more than 500 percent in only 15 years. If this occurs, the region would represent about 5 percent of the world's total oil production.

    One major problem has yet to be resolved: how to get the region's vast energy resources to the markets where they are needed. Central Asia is isolated. Their natural resources are land locked, both geographically and politically. Each of the countries in the Caucasus and Central Asia faces difficult political challenges. Some have unsettled wars or latent conflicts. Others have evolving systems where the laws and even the courts are dynamic and changing. In addition, a chief technical obstacle which we in the industry face in transporting oil is the region's existing pipeline infrastructure.

    Because the region's pipelines were constructed during the Moscow-centered Soviet period, they tend to head north and west toward Russia. There are no connections to the south and east. But Russia is currently unlikely to absorb large new quantities of foreign oil. It's unlikely to be a significant market for new energy in the next decade. It lacks the capacity to deliver it to other markets.

    Two major infrastructure projects are seeking to meet the need for additional export capacity. One, under the aegis of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, plans to build a pipeline west from the northern Caspian to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk. Oil would then go by tanker through the Bosporus to the Mediterranean and world markets.

    The other project is sponsored by the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, a consortium of 11 foreign oil companies, including four American companies, Unocal, Amoco, Exxon and Pennzoil. This consortium conceives of two possible routes, one line would angle north and cross the north Caucasus to Novorossiysk. The other route would cross Georgia to a shipping terminal on the Black Sea. This second route could be extended west and south across Turkey to the Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

    But even if both pipelines were built, they would not have enough total capacity to transport all the oil expected to flow from the region in the future. Nor would they have the capability to move it to the right markets. Other export pipelines must be built.

    At Unocal, we believe that the central factor in planning these pipelines should be the location of the future energy markets that are most likely to need these new supplies. Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union are all slow growth markets where demand will grow at only a half a percent to perhaps 1.2 percent per year during the period 1995 to 2010.

    Asia is a different story all together. It will have a rapidly increasing energy consumption need. Prior to the recent turbulence in the Asian Pacific economies, we at Unocal anticipated that this region's demand for oil would almost double by 2010. Although the short-term increase in demand will probably not meet these expectations, we stand behind our long-term estimates.

    I should note that it is in everyone's interest that there be adequate supplies for Asia's increasing energy requirements. If Asia's energy needs are not satisfied, they will simply put pressure on all world markets, driving prices upwards everywhere.

    The key question then is how the energy resources of Central Asia can be made available to nearby Asian markets. There are two possible solutions, with several variations. One option is to go east across China, but this would mean constructing a pipeline of more than 3,000 kilometers just to reach Central China. In addition, there would have to be a 2,000-kilometer connection to reach the main population centers along the coast. The question then is what will be the cost of transporting oil through this pipeline, and what would be the netback which the producers would receive.

    For those who are not familiar with the terminology, the netback is the price which the producer receives for his oil or gas at the well head after all the transportation costs have been deducted. So it's the price he receives for the oil he produces at the well head.

    The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company.

    Mr. Chairman, as you know, we have worked very closely with the University of Nebraska at Omaha in developing a training program for Afghanistan which will be open to both men and women, and which will operate in both parts of the country, the north and south.

    Unocal foresees a pipeline which would become part of a regional system that will gather oil from existing pipeline infrastructure in Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia. The 1,040-mile long oil pipeline would extend south through Afghanistan to an export terminal that would be constructed on the Pakistan coast. This 42-inch diameter pipeline will have a shipping capacity of one million barrels of oil per day. The estimated cost of the project, which is similar in scope to the trans-Alaska pipeline, is about $2.5 billion.

    Given the plentiful natural gas supplies of Central Asia, our aim is to link gas resources with the nearest viable markets. This is basic for the commercial viability of any gas project. But these projects also face geopolitical challenges. Unocal and the Turkish company Koc Holding are interested in bringing competitive gas supplies to Turkey. The proposed Eurasia natural gas pipeline would transport gas from Turkmenistan directly across the Caspian Sea through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey. Of course the demarcation of the Caspian remains an issue.

    Last October, the Central Asia Gas Pipeline Consortium, called CentGas, in which Unocal holds an interest, was formed to develop a gas pipeline which will link Turkmenistan's vast Dauletabad gas field with markets in Pakistan and possibly India. The proposed 790-mile pipeline will open up new markets for this gas, traveling from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Multan in Pakistan. The proposed extension would move gas on to New Delhi, where it would connect with an existing pipeline. As with the proposed Central Asia oil pipeline, CentGas can not begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place.

    The Central Asia and Caspian region is blessed with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region's residents, and provide energy for growth in both Europe and Asia. The impact of these resources on U.S. commercial interests and U.S. foreign policy is also significant. Without peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the region, cross-border oil and gas pipelines are not likely to be built. We urge the Administration and the Congress to give strong support to the U.N.-led peace process in Afghanistan. The U.S. Government should use its influence to help find solutions to all of the region's conflicts.

    U.S. assistance in developing these new economies will be crucial to business success. We thus also encourage strong technical assistance programs throughout the region. Specifically, we urge repeal or removal of section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. This section unfairly restricts U.S. Government assistance to the government of Azerbaijan and limits U.S. influence in the region.

    Developing cost-effective export routes for Central Asian resources is a formidable task, but not an impossible one. Unocal and other American companies like it are fully prepared to undertake the job and to make Central Asia once again into the crossroads it has been in the past. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

    Friday, October 28, 2005

    Who Does This Sound Like?


    A Three-Factor Model of Psychopathy

    Cooke and Michie eliminated criteria related to criminal incarceration and juvenile delinquency and statistically analyzed three factors of psychopathy. This allows for a conception of the psychopathic personality that is better applicable outside forensic populations.

    Deceitful Interpersonal Style
    Glibness/superficial charm
    Egocentricity/Grandiose sense of self-worth
    Pathological lying
    Cunning/Manipulative

    Deficient Affective Experience
    Lack of remorse or guilt
    Callous/Lack of empathy
    Shallow affect
    Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

    Impulsive/Irresponsible Behavioral Style
    Need for stimulation/Proneness to boredom
    Parasitic lifestyle
    Lack of realistic, long-term goals
    Impulsivity
    Irresponsibility
    Cooke D.J., Michie C. "Refining the construct of psychopathy: Towards a hierarchical model." Psychological Assessment (2001), 13 (2): 171-188.
    [edit]
    They meet every criteria.

    Frist is Running Already

    On Tuesday, ExxonMobil, the world's largest publicly-traded oil company, announced net income of $9.9 billion for the most recent quarter, eclipsing analyst expectations and dwarfing the $5.68 billion reported for the same quarter a year ago. It was the largest quarterly profit ever for a U.S. company.

    ExxonMobil wasn't alone. Royal Dutch Shell said today that profits grew 68 percent, to $9.03 billion, last quarter. Earlier in the week, BP announced profits at 34 percent above last year's levels, and ConocoPhillips saw revenue jump 43 percent.

    The reason? High gas prices.

    "The recent hurricanes in the U.S. have impacted our results. However, underlying performance is strong, amplified by high but volatile prices of oil, gas and products," BP Chief Executive Lord Browne said in a statement announcing the company's performance.

    Consumers Pay Up
    Despite temporary interruptions to refinery and delivery operations after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged the Gulf Coast, an accompanying surge in crude oil prices and prices at the pump allowed oil companies to bolster their earnings. Crude oil represents more than 50 percent of the cost of gasoline, and many oil companies were able to capitalize when the cost of a barrel of crude climbed above $60.

    "What might have been lost in terms of production and refining capacity was more than made up for by the hurricanes driving oil prices up a couple dollars a barrel," said John Parry, an analyst with John S. Herold.

    The oil giants' windfall is a stark contrast to the ugly scenes around U.S. gas stations in September — hours-long lines of drivers desperate to fill up, despite prices that often topped $3 per gallon. Some politicians are questioning why oil companies profited so much while consumers struggled to fill their tanks.

    Even Republican lawmakers, who have historically counted on support from the oil industry, have asked for answers.

    Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist today called for Senate hearings to examine the reasons for high energy prices. Noting the contradiction between the soaring profits and squeezed consumer budgets, Frist requested that executives from the country's major oil companies attend the hearings.

    Scooter Gets Indicted and Resigns

    It isn't enough, but it is a start.
    The media says he is on crutches because he had an accident, but I bet Cheney broke his legs to give him a taste of what's coming if he doesn't bend over and take the rap.

    Pretty is as Pretty Does!

    Exxon Mobil Corp. Chairman and CEO Lee Raymond

    He's a Hisser

    I'd love to see sibilant Michael Chertoff indicted too.
    His hissing, like that of George Bush, bothers me. His appearance similar to Anton Zander LeVay, author of The Satanic Bible, also bothes me. But what really bothers me most about him, bothers me so much I feel like kicking someone driving a car with a Bush bumpersticker, are his policies, job performance and hatred for America.

    The Neocons HATE America.

    Wonder how personality disordered, abused child, behind the scenes manipulator with big, bushy " I'm a patriarchal-sexist fuck" beard, Grover Norquist, a man who compares the estate tax to the holocaust, feels about paying Brownie tax dollars for another 30 days? Bet it'll be extended after that extension.



    From Ap on the CBS site
    The former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Wednesday defended the agency's decision to keep him on the job another 30 days as a "completely legitimate thing to do."

    Michael Brown, who resigned under fire Sept. 12 after being heavily criticized for the federal government's slow reaction to the hurricane, told The Associated Press that he would help the agency complete its review of the response to Hurricane Katrina. He said he would also be reviewing for the agency a large number of Freedom of Information requests dealing with the response.

    Asked in a telephone interview if he expects to complete that work by the end of his second 30-day extension, Brown replied, "Absolutely. I'm motivated to wrap it up. I'm ready to move on."

    Brown resigned three days after Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff relieved him of his onsite command of FEMA's response to Katrina. The storm killed more than 1,200 people along the Gulf Coast, flooded New Orleans and forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands. R. David Paulison was named acting director.
    The Federal Emergency Management Agency is part of Chertoff's department.

    Brown initially was permitted to stay on the FEMA payroll for 30 days at his $148,000 annual salary. Chertoff defended the decision to extend Brown's employment for another 30 days during an interview Wednesday as he flew to view Hurricane Wilma's damage in Florida.

    "It's important to allow the new people who have the responsibility ... to have access to the information we need to do better," Chertoff said. "We don't want to sacrifice the real ability to get a full picture of Mike's experiences; we don't want to sacrifice that ability simply in order to make an image point."

    Russ Knocke, the Homeland Security spokesman, has said in the past that Brown was staying on to advise the department on his experience with Katrina. He said Brown has no decision-making or management responsibilities.

    The decision quickly drew fire from members of Congress.

    "Keeping Mike Brown at Homeland Security to investigate his role in the Katrina fiasco is like paying Ken Lay to run a price gouging investigation," said Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee.

    Lay is the former Enron chairman now charged with fraud and conspiracy in connection with the energy company's collapse.

    Mississippi Congressman Gene Taylor, whose coastal district was among the hardest hit by Katrina, said Brown's contract extension is an insult to taxpayers, particularly those Gulf Coast residents "whose lives were in danger in the aftermath of that storm because of Mike Brown's incompetence."

    "I've got tens of thousands of people living in two-man igloo tents tonight, and less than a quarter of the people who have asked for FEMA travel trailers have gotten them," Taylor said. "And at the same time they can find $140,000 a year to pay this incompetent son of a gun; that's ridiculous."

    Thursday, October 27, 2005

    Some Weekly News Items

    Nothing is what it seems with Goppers or their support base of millionaires and hate mongers. Walmart does not struggle to do a better job providing health care coverage to workers, but to rectify its sinking public image.

    October 25, 2005
    Wal-Mart: Discriminate to Save Health Care Cost
    The day after Wal-Mart's fake PR offensive to portray themselves as concerned about their employees health care and wages, Stephen Greenhouse -- who proves the NY Times still has some decent reporters -- reveals this internal memo from Wal-Mart.  The memo calls for Wal-Mart saving money by forcing more employees into part-time work without benefits and discriminating against the unhealthy and disabled:
    To discourage unhealthy job applicants, [the memo] suggests that Wal-Mart arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering)."...
    "It will be far easier to attract and retain a healthier work force than it will be to change behavior in an existing one," the memo said. "These moves would also dissuade unhealthy people from coming to work at Wal-Mart."
    Wal-Mart has hopefully bought itself a nice Americans with Disabilities Act class action lawsuit.

    After 2 years of daily reading about health care in the US, I feel more than qualified to proclaim that this number is suspiciously low. Further, it does not discuss the health care problems of the chronically underinsured, such as those in HMOs, or the problems of those who don’t die but live with chronic illness and what that costs the system, and what the lack of universal public healthcare costs everyone in the country except those, like wall eyed turd sniffer Bill Frist, whose millions were made trading health care in the stock market.
    Health inequalities in US kill 84,000 -expert
    Thu Oct 20, 7:08 PM ET
    LONDON (Reuters) - Health inequalities in the United States cause about 84,000 additional deaths a year, more than the equivalent of a hurricane Katrina every week, a health care expert said on Friday.

    David Atkins, of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the United States, said the images of people clinging to rooftops made it clear that being poor and black in a poor southern state is hazardous to health.
    "The gap in health between white and black Americans has been estimated to cause 84,000 excess deaths in a year ... a virtual Katrina every week," Atkins said in an editorial in the British Medical Journal.
    But the victims die of illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer,
    HIV/AIDS and alcohol or drug addiction so they don't grab the public's attention in the same way as the deaths caused by Katrina which killed more than 1,200 people.
    And let us never forget, public health policy shaped by conservative twat rags under the RayGun administration BROUGHT US the AIDS epidemic to begin with.
    "This may truly be a teachable moment about the impact of poverty and race on health," said Atkins.
    The chief medical office of the AHRQ, an agency that coordinates all federal quality improvement efforts and health services research in the United States, said a comprehensive plan to protect the Gulf Coast from devastating storms and hurricanes had languished for years.
    Now the U.S. government is facing a bill for the catastrophe that is expected to rise as high as $200 billion.
    And let us never forget the US has the most expensive, most unfair, most corrupt, least efficient health care system in the world. If we could only provide health care with the same focus and tenacity with which we torture so called terrorists. Now that would be an accomplishment
    Atkins called for funding to be available for prevention, not rescue, and said the infrastructure for public health must be strengthened.
    He added that the failure in basic communication after the hurricane hampered early recovery efforts.
    "In the rush to rebuild in the southern states, Americans should pause to think more deeply about what it would take to create more equitable and healthier communities in New Orleans and throughout the affected area," Atkins said.
    The lessons from Katrina must also be applied to help people with poor health who languish out of the public eye, he added.


    Poll: Bush would lose an election if held this year
    Tuesday, October 25, 2005; Posted: 6:52 p.m. EDT (22:52 GMT)
    Someone needs to tell the ass lickers at CNN that Bush didn’t get elected in 2000 or 2004 either.
    President Bush would not get re-elected if an election were held this year, according to a CNN poll.
    (CNN) -- A majority would vote for a Democrat over President Bush if an election were held this year, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll released Tuesday.
    In the latest poll, 55 percent of the respondents said that they would vote for the Democratic candidate if Bush were again running for the presidency this year.
    Of course, Kerry is repulsive and didn't take postions very different from the ones Bush took, and still he won. But the fix is in with Diebold and ES&S and repiglikkkan secretaries of state, so it isn't like your vote matters.
    Thirty-nine percent of those interviewed said they would vote for Bush in the hypothetical election.
    The latest poll results, released Tuesday, were based on interviews with 1,008 adults conducted by telephone October 21-23.
    In the poll, 42 percent of those interviewed approved of the way the president is handling his job and 55 percent disapproved. In the previous poll, released October 17, 39 percent approved of Bush's job performance -- the lowest number of his presidency -- and 58 percent disapproved.
    However, all the numbers are within the poll's sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points, so it's possible that the public's opinion has not changed at all.
    More than half, 57 percent, said they don't agree with the president's views on issues that are important to them, while 41 percent said their views are in alignment with those of Bush on important issues.
    Democrats preferred on issues
    On separate issues, a majority of those questioned felt the Democrats could do a better job than Republicans at handling health care (59 percent to 30 percent), Social Security (56 percent to 33 percent), gasoline prices (51 percent to 31 percent) and the economy (50 percent to 38 percent).
    Forty-six percent also believed Democrats could do better at handling Iraq, while 40 percent said the GOP would do better.
    In 2003, 53 percent said Republicans would better handle Iraq and only 29 percent believed the Democrats would do better.
    The only issue on which Republicans came out on top was in fighting terrorism: 49 percent said the GOP is better at it, while 38 percent said the Democrats are.
    Who are the delusional who believe the GOP can do anything better than anyone else, other than lie, cheat and steal? If we had a better health care system, these poor sickos might get treatment.
    And there was a dramatic shift downward in the latest poll, compared with September, in the percentage of people who said that it was a mistake to send U.S. troops to Iraq.
    This time, 49 percent said it was a mistake, versus 59 percent who felt that way last month.

    Even the ultra conservative kitty box liner, WSJ, is getting in on the Bush Bitch Slap, while Bush gets ready to pin the whole thing on Cheney. That buck is getting mighty worn.
    October 25, 2005
    THE HARRIS POLL
    Majority of Americans Say Military Action in Iraq Was Wrong, Poll Finds (click link to see poll data layed out in a nice table)
    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE
    October 25, 2005
    A new Harris Interactive poll shows American sentiment about the situation in Iraq remains generally gloomy, with fewer than a quarter of Americans saying they are confident U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful.
    For the first time, a majority of Americans (53%) feels that military action in Iraq was the wrong thing to do, according to the survey of 1,833 U.S. adults, compared with 34% who feel it was right.
    At the same time, 66% of U.S. adults now say President Bush is doing a "poor" or "only fair" job of handling Iraq, while 32% say he is doing an "excellent" or "pretty good" job. That's little changed from a September Harris poll that found 65% rated Mr. Bush negatively and 34% rated him positively.
    BUSH'S IRAQ RATING
    Sixty-one percent of Americans say they aren't confident U.S. policies in Iraq will be successful, slightly higher than 59% who lacked confidence in September. Additionally, only 19% of Americans surveyed believe the situation for U.S. troops in Iraq is improving, while 44% believe it is getting worse.
    U.S. adults are split on where things are headed in Iraq: 38% believe things there are moving in the right direction, while another 38% believe they're moving in the wrong direction and 24% aren't sure.
    See the full results of the Harris poll: athttp://online.wsj.com/public/article_print/SB113017755613077776.html


    Hypocrisy is us!

    It is my contention that if you split open all the GOP women from the bottom up, you’d find testicles that never developed enough to drop, but are infusing GOP women's thinking with Masculine values.
    Oct. 24, 2005, 8:16PM
    DOUBLE STANDARD
    Texas senator who voted to impeach President Clinton on perjury and obstruction of justice now calls such charges 'technicalities.Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle

    BACK in 1999 when the U.S. Senate tried and ultimately acquitted President Bill Clinton after he was impeached by the House, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas had no doubt about the seriousness of the alleged crime. Clinton stood accused of lying under oath and obstructing the investigation of his relationship with intern Monica Lewinsky.

    "What would we be telling Americans," Hutchison asked, "if the Senate of the United States were to conclude: The president lied under oath as an element of a scheme to obstruct the due process of law, but we chose to look the other way. I cannot make that choice. I cannot look away."
    As news accounts indicate special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald might be preparing to bring perjury and obstruction of justice charges against Bush administration officials involved in the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, Hutchison is taking a different view. Appearing on Meet the Press Sunday, she seemed quite willing to look away from such violations this time around.
    The senator decried the tendency of prosecutors and district attorneys to "go for technicalities, sort of a gotcha mentality in this country." If Fitzgerald does return indictments, she hoped that they would involve a crime and not some "perjury technicality where they couldn't indict on a crime."
    When Meet the Press host Tim Russert pointed out the contradiction between her past and current positions on perjury and obstruction, Hutchison responded that there were other charges against Clinton and, "I'm not saying that those were not crimes. They are." Hutchison went on to express sympathy for homemaking maven Martha Stewart, convicted "where they couldn't find a crime and they indict on something that she said about something that wasn't a crime."
    One cannot pick and choose when a charge is justified. Lying to investigators and grand juries is not a technicality. Our system of law depends on the ability of law enforcement to get at the truth, both in interviews with investigators and in sworn testimony in court. The penalties can be personally devastating and often do not hinge on other crimes. Former San Antonio Mayor Henry Cisneros continues to be dogged by a decade-long investigation set off by his admitted lies to FBI agents vetting him for a Cabinet post about how much money he had paid a former mistress, an act that was not a crime.
    If Hutchison found perjury and obstruction reason enough to throw a president out of office, surely those offenses would be sufficient cause to charge people if they obstructed a probe of a potential violation of national security laws. The unmasking of a covert CIA operative can have life and death consequences for previous associates met over the years in countries around the world.
    Public officials such as Sen. Hutchison do not enhance their stature when they seem to support one standard of justice for officials of the opposing party and another for their own. What was good for the Democratic goose in the Clinton impeachment trial should be good enough for the Republican gander in the Plame investigation.

    Wednesday, October 26, 2005

    From Tom Paine, in full

    A Diagnosis for America's Healthcare Woes
    By Jonathan Tasini, TomPaine.com. Posted October 26, 2005.

    General Motors' employee coverage cuts help illustrate an important point: the global economy is a tool to drive down living standards. It is a measure of our lowered expectations, fueled by media spin, that people shrugged and seemed to think that it was inevitable that workers for General Motors were destined to have their health care coverage slashed.

    After all, some seemed to think, at a time when their company is teetering on the edge of oblivion, these "privileged" auto workers had "gold-plated" coverage that almost no other workers in America have.

    But let’s be clear: The loss of benefits for GM workers was not inevitable. It happened as a result of many years of bipartisan political and economic decisions and the bipartisan lack of political courage to take on dumb ideology and corporate power.

    In the minds of the elites, socking workers with a larger share of the costs of health care is just a natural part of the new economic order. As the Wall Street Journal editorial board said about the health care cost-cutting deal between GM and the United Auto Workers, "We hope it’s the beginning of wisdom about the global economy for the American labor movement."

    Speaking about UAW president Ron Gettelfinger, Delphi CEO Steve Miller—who took his company into bankruptcy—said, "He’s going to have to help half a million of workers get used to the idea that globalization has taken away the ability to have someone who mows the lawn or sweeps the floor get $65 an hour."

    At least one thing is refreshing: It exposes as a fraud the liberal and conservative mantra about the wonders of the global economy. Democrats and Republicans alike—from Bill Clinton to George Bush, with a supporting cast of media and academic geniuses—have repeatedly told workers that the global economy will bring great benefits to America, after a period of "adjustment." To their credit, Steve Miller and the Journal are more honest: The global economy is a tool to drive down living standards, starting with health care. Get with it, folks: Living large is so "old economy."

    So, the first obvious point to make is that employer-provided health care coverage has failed. Workers should never face the choice between sickness and financial ruin simply because the company they work for is going under, poorly managed or because they change jobs. More important, this has become, as I pointed out some months ago, a matter of economic competitiveness for corporations based in the United States: The health care system is dragging down profits.

    The second point, then, is that health insurance can never be left to those whose sole motivation is profit. The last time health care was debated, the Clinton administration lost its nerve—or, perhaps, never had any other intention to pursue a system other than one that was destined to perpetuate the existing ideological flaws. "Hillarycare" was a disaster for the public not because the mismanaged process produced an overly complex system. Rather, the Clintons made a conscious decision to leave health care in the hands of the private insurers—which allowed the HMO industry to grow, if you'll pardon the expression, like a malignant tumor.

    If we had a different philosophy, GM workers’ health care would never change. As Ida Hellander, executive director of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), puts it, "Political will is infinitely harder to muster, especially when Congress is owned by the drug and insurance companies." PNHP has a very straightforward set of four principles guiding its universal health care proposal, which I think, if properly understood by the public, would send millions of people to the streets demanding immediate change:

    * Access to comprehensive health care is a human right. It is the responsibility of society, through its government, to assure this right. Coverage should not be tied to employment. Private insurance firms’ past record disqualifies them from a central role in managing health care.

    *The right to choose and change one’s physician is fundamental to patient autonomy. Patients should be free to seek care from any licensed health care professional.

    *Pursuit of corporate profit and personal fortune have no place in caregiving and they create enormous waste. The U.S. already spends enough to provide comprehensive health care to all Americans with no increase in total costs. However, the vast health care resources now squandered on bureaucracy (mostly due to efforts to divert costs to other payers or onto patients themselves), profits, marketing and useless or even harmful medical interventions must be shifted to needed care.


    *In a democracy, the public should set overall health policies. Personal medical decisions must be made by patients with their caregivers, not by corporate or government bureaucrats.

    The economics of a single-payer, universal health care system are unassailable. It would save $300 billion in administration costs. It would be financed partly by the 60 percent of taxes that already go into the health care system via Medicaid, Medicare and payments for public employee coverage. The rest of the financing, over the long term, would be easily done with modest tax increases (by a 7 percent payroll tax and a 2 percent progressive income tax) —and result in better health care for people for less money than people shell out in ever-rising deductibles. With one bold stroke, a single-payer system would do more to help the bottom line of companies than any tax break or so-called "free trade" agreement.

    The troubling reality to the arguments I’ve made is that they are not particularly original: The moral and economic need for a universal health care system has been well-known for a very long time. The only question now is: How many companies will have to go belly up and how many more millions of workers will face bankruptcy and illness because we allow ideology—the deification of the so-called free market—to triumph over common sense?

    Jonathan Tasini is president of the Economic Future Group and writes his "Working In America" columns for TomPaine.com on an occasional basis. His blog Working Life chronicles the labor movement and other issues affecting American workers.

    Tuesday, October 25, 2005

    BackGround of the NeoCon Surge

    The Powell Memo
    (also known as the Powell Manifesto)

    Powell Memo published August 23, 1971
    This page and our introduction were published April 3, 2004

    Introduction
    In 1971, Lewis F. Powell, then a corporate lawyer and member of the boards of 11 corporations, wrote a memo to his friend Eugene Sydnor, Jr., the Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The memorandum was dated August 23, 1971, two months prior to Powell's nomination by President Nixon to the U.S. Supreme Court.

    The Powell Memo did not become available to the public until long after his confirmation to the Court. It was leaked to Jack Anderson, a liberal syndicated columnist, who stirred interest in the document when he cited it as reason to doubt Powell's legal objectivity. Anderson cautioned that Powell "might use his position on the Supreme Court to put his ideas into practice...in behalf of business interests."

    Though Powell's memo was not the sole influence, the Chamber and corporate activists took his advice to heart and began building a powerful array of institutions designed to shift public attitudes and beliefs over the course of years and decades. The memo influenced or inspired the creation of the Heritage Foundation, the Manhattan Institute, the Cato Institute, Citizens for a Sound Economy, Accuracy in Academe, and other powerful organizations. Their long-term focus began paying off handsomely in the 1980s, in coordination with the Reagan Administration's "hands-off business" philosophy.

    Most notable about these institutions was their focus on education, shifting values, and movement-building – a focus we share, though usually with contrasting goals. One of our great frustrations is that “progressive” foundations and funders have failed to learn from the success of these corporate institutions and decline to fund the Democracy Movement that we and a number of similarly-focused organizations are attempting to build. Instead, they overwhelmingly focus on damage control, band-aids and short-term results which provide little hope of the systemic change we so desperately need to reverse the trend of growing corporate dominance.

    We see depressingly little sign of change. Progressive institutions eagerly embrace tools like the web and e-mail as hopes for turning the nation in a progressive direction. They will not. They are tools that can and must be used to raise funds and mobilize people more effectively (and we rely on them heavily), but tools and tactics are no substitute for long-term vision and strategy.

    So did Powell's political views influence his judicial decisions? The evidence is mixed. Powell did embrace expansion of corporate privilege and wrote the majority opinion in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti, a 1978 decision that effectively invented a First Amendment “right” for corporations to influence ballot questions. On social issues, he was a moderate, whose votes often surprised his backers.


    Confidential Memorandum:
    Attack of American Free Enterprise System

    DATE: August 23, 1971
    TO: Mr. Eugene B. Sydnor, Jr., Chairman, Education Committee, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
    FROM: Lewis F. Powell, Jr.

    This memorandum is submitted at your request as a basis for the discussion on August 24 with Mr. Booth (executive vice president) and others at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The purpose is to identify the problem, and suggest possible avenues of action for further consideration.

    Dimensions of the Attack
    No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack.1 This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.

    There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.

    But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.

    Sources of the Attack
    The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.

    The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.

    Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these "attackers," or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.

    One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.

    The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.

    Most of the media, including the national TV systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend upon profits, and the enterprise system to survive.

    Tone of the Attack
    This memorandum is not the place to document in detail the tone, character, or intensity of the attack. The following quotations will suffice to give one a general idea:

    William Kunstler, warmly welcomed on campuses and listed in a recent student poll as the "American lawyer most admired," incites audiences as follows:

    "You must learn to fight in the streets, to revolt, to shoot guns. We will learn to do all of the things that property owners fear."2 The New Leftists who heed Kunstler's advice increasingly are beginning to act -- not just against military recruiting offices and manufacturers of munitions, but against a variety of businesses: "Since February, 1970, branches (of Bank of America) have been attacked 39 times, 22 times with explosive devices and 17 times with fire bombs or by arsonists."3 Although New Leftist spokesmen are succeeding in radicalizing thousands of the young, the greater cause for concern is the hostility of respectable liberals and social reformers. It is the sum total of their views and influence which could indeed fatally weaken or destroy the system.
    A chilling description of what is being taught on many of our campuses was written by Stewart Alsop:

    "Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores of bright young men who are practitioners of 'the politics of despair.' These young men despise the American political and economic system . . . (their) minds seem to be wholly closed. They live, not by rational discussion, but by mindless slogans."4 A recent poll of students on 12 representative campuses reported that: "Almost half the students favored socialization of basic U.S. industries."5

    A visiting professor from England at Rockford College gave a series of lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society," in which he documents the extent to which members of the intellectual community are waging ideological warfare against the enterprise system and the values of western society. In a foreword to these lectures, famed Dr. Milton Friedman of Chicago warned: "It (is) crystal clear that the foundations of our free society are under wide-ranging and powerful attack -- not by Communist or any other conspiracy but by misguided individuals parroting one another and unwittingly serving ends they would never intentionally promote."6

    Perhaps the single most effective antagonist of American business is Ralph Nader, who -- thanks largely to the media -- has become a legend in his own time and an idol of millions of Americans. A recent article in Fortune speaks of Nader as follows:

    "The passion that rules in him -- and he is a passionate man -- is aimed at smashing utterly the target of his hatred, which is corporate power. He thinks, and says quite bluntly, that a great many corporate executives belong in prison -- for defrauding the consumer with shoddy merchandise, poisoning the food supply with chemical additives, and willfully manufacturing unsafe products that will maim or kill the buyer. He emphasizes that he is not talking just about 'fly-by-night hucksters' but the top management of blue chip business."7

    A frontal assault was made on our government, our system of justice, and the free enterprise system by Yale Professor Charles Reich in his widely publicized book: "The Greening of America," published last winter.

    The foregoing references illustrate the broad, shotgun attack on the system itself. There are countless examples of rifle shots which undermine confidence and confuse the public. Favorite current targets are proposals for tax incentives through changes in depreciation rates and investment credits. These are usually described in the media as "tax breaks," "loop holes" or "tax benefits" for the benefit of business. * As viewed by a columnist in the Post, such tax measures would benefit "only the rich, the owners of big companies."8

    It is dismaying that many politicians make the same argument that tax measures of this kind benefit only "business," without benefit to "the poor." The fact that this is either political demagoguery or economic illiteracy is of slight comfort. This setting of the "rich" against the "poor," of business against the people, is the cheapest and most dangerous kind of politics.

    The Apathy and Default of Business
    What has been the response of business to this massive assault upon its fundamental economics, upon its philosophy, upon its right to continue to manage its own affairs, and indeed upon its integrity?

    The painfully sad truth is that business, including the boards of directors' and the top executives of corporations great and small and business organizations at all levels, often have responded -- if at all -- by appeasement, ineptitude and ignoring the problem. There are, of course, many exceptions to this sweeping generalization. But the net effect of such response as has been made is scarcely visible.

    In all fairness, it must be recognized that businessmen have not been trained or equipped to conduct guerrilla warfare with those who propagandize against the system, seeking insidiously and constantly to sabotage it. The traditional role of business executives has been to manage, to produce, to sell, to create jobs, to make profits, to improve the standard of living, to be community leaders, to serve on charitable and educational boards, and generally to be good citizens. They have performed these tasks very well indeed.

    But they have shown little stomach for hard-nose contest with their critics, and little skill in effective intellectual and philosophical debate.

    A column recently carried by the Wall Street Journal was entitled: "Memo to GM: Why Not Fight Back?"9 Although addressed to GM by name, the article was a warning to all American business. Columnist St. John said:

    "General Motors, like American business in general, is 'plainly in trouble' because intellectual bromides have been substituted for a sound intellectual exposition of its point of view." Mr. St. John then commented on the tendency of business leaders to compromise with and appease critics. He cited the concessions which Nader wins from management, and spoke of "the fallacious view many businessmen take toward their critics." He drew a parallel to the mistaken tactics of many college administrators: "College administrators learned too late that such appeasement serves to destroy free speech, academic freedom and genuine scholarship. One campus radical demand was conceded by university heads only to be followed by a fresh crop which soon escalated to what amounted to a demand for outright surrender."

    One need not agree entirely with Mr. St. John's analysis. But most observers of the American scene will agree that the essence of his message is sound. American business "plainly in trouble"; the response to the wide range of critics has been ineffective, and has included appeasement; the time has come -- indeed, it is long overdue -- for the wisdom, ingenuity and resources of American business to be marshalled against those who would destroy it.

    Responsibility of Business Executives
    What specifically should be done? The first essential -- a prerequisite to any effective action -- is for businessmen to confront this problem as a primary responsibility of corporate management.

    The overriding first need is for businessmen to recognize that the ultimate issue may be survival -- survival of what we call the free enterprise system, and all that this means for the strength and prosperity of America and the freedom of our people.

    The day is long past when the chief executive officer of a major corporation discharges his responsibility by maintaining a satisfactory growth of profits, with due regard to the corporation's public and social responsibilities. If our system is to survive, top management must be equally concerned with protecting and preserving the system itself. This involves far more than an increased emphasis on "public relations" or "governmental affairs" -- two areas in which corporations long have invested substantial sums.

    A significant first step by individual corporations could well be the designation of an executive vice president (ranking with other executive VP's) whose responsibility is to counter-on the broadest front-the attack on the enterprise system. The public relations department could be one of the foundations assigned to this executive, but his responsibilities should encompass some of the types of activities referred to subsequently in this memorandum. His budget and staff should be adequate to the task. Possible Role of the Chamber of Commerce

    But independent and uncoordinated activity by individual corporations, as important as this is, will not be sufficient. Strength lies in organization, in careful long-range planning and implementation, in consistency of action over an indefinite period of years, in the scale of financing available only through joint effort, and in the political power available only through united action and national organizations.

    Moreover, there is the quite understandable reluctance on the part of any one corporation to get too far out in front and to make itself too visible a target.

    The role of the National Chamber of Commerce is therefore vital. Other national organizations (especially those of various industrial and commercial groups) should join in the effort, but no other organizations appear to be as well situated as the Chamber. It enjoys a strategic position, with a fine reputation and a broad base of support. Also -- and this is of immeasurable merit -- there are hundreds of local Chambers of Commerce which can play a vital supportive role.

    It hardly need be said that before embarking upon any program, the Chamber should study and analyze possible courses of action and activities, weighing risks against probable effectiveness and feasibility of each. Considerations of cost, the assurance of financial and other support from members, adequacy of staffing and similar problems will all require the most thoughtful consideration.

    The Campus
    The assault on the enterprise system was not mounted in a few months. It has gradually evolved over the past two decades, barely perceptible in its origins and benefiting (sic) from a gradualism that provoked little awareness much less any real reaction.

    Although origins, sources and causes are complex and interrelated, and obviously difficult to identify without careful qualification, there is reason to believe that the campus is the single most dynamic source. The social science faculties usually include members who are unsympathetic to the enterprise system. They may range from a Herbert Marcuse, Marxist faculty member at the University of California at San Diego, and convinced socialists, to the ambivalent liberal critic who finds more to condemn than to commend. Such faculty members need not be in a majority. They are often personally attractive and magnetic; they are stimulating teachers, and their controversy attracts student following; they are prolific writers and lecturers; they author many of the textbooks, and they exert enormous influence -- far out of proportion to their numbers -- on their colleagues and in the academic world.

    Social science faculties (the political scientist, economist, sociologist and many of the historians) tend to be liberally oriented, even when leftists are not present. This is not a criticism per se, as the need for liberal thought is essential to a balanced viewpoint. The difficulty is that "balance" is conspicuous by its absence on many campuses, with relatively few members being of conservatives or moderate persuasion and even the relatively few often being less articulate and aggressive than their crusading colleagues.

    This situation extending back many years and with the imbalance gradually worsening, has had an enormous impact on millions of young American students. In an article in Barron's Weekly, seeking an answer to why so many young people are disaffected even to the point of being revolutionaries, it was said: "Because they were taught that way."10 Or, as noted by columnist Stewart Alsop, writing about his alma mater: "Yale, like every other major college, is graduating scores' of bright young men ... who despise the American political and economic system."

    As these "bright young men," from campuses across the country, seek opportunities to change a system which they have been taught to distrust -- if not, indeed "despise" -- they seek employment in the centers of the real power and influence in our country, namely: (i) with the news media, especially television; (ii) in government, as "staffers" and consultants at various levels; (iii) in elective politics; (iv) as lecturers and writers, and (v) on the faculties at various levels of education.

    Many do enter the enterprise system -- in business and the professions -- and for the most part they quickly discover the fallacies of what they have been taught. But those who eschew the mainstream of the system often remain in key positions of influence where they mold public opinion and often shape governmental action. In many instances, these "intellectuals" end up in regulatory agencies or governmental departments with large authority over the business system they do not believe in.

    If the foregoing analysis is approximately sound, a priority task of business -- and organizations such as the Chamber -- is to address the campus origin of this hostility. Few things are more sanctified in American life than academic freedom. It would be fatal to attack this as a principle. But if academic freedom is to retain the qualities of "openness," "fairness" and "balance" -- which are essential to its intellectual significance -- there is a great opportunity for constructive action. The thrust of such action must be to restore the qualities just mentioned to the academic communities.

    What Can Be Done About the Campus
    The ultimate responsibility for intellectual integrity on the campus must remain on the administrations and faculties of our colleges and universities. But organizations such as the Chamber can assist and activate constructive change in many ways, including the following:

    Staff of Scholars
    The Chamber should consider establishing a staff of highly qualified scholars in the social sciences who do believe in the system. It should include several of national reputation whose authorship would be widely respected -- even when disagreed with.

    Staff of Speakers
    There also should be a staff of speakers of the highest competency. These might include the scholars, and certainly those who speak for the Chamber would have to articulate the product of the scholars.

    Speaker's Bureau
    In addition to full-time staff personnel, the Chamber should have a Speaker's Bureau which should include the ablest and most effective advocates from the top echelons of American business.

    Evaluation of Textbooks
    The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.

    The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.

    We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.

    If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected -- honestly, fairly and thoroughly -- to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.

    Equal Time on the Campus
    The Chamber should insist upon equal time on the college speaking circuit. The FBI publishes each year a list of speeches made on college campuses by avowed Communists. The number in 1970 exceeded 100. There were, of course, many hundreds of appearances by leftists and ultra liberals who urge the types of viewpoints indicated earlier in this memorandum. There was no corresponding representation of American business, or indeed by individuals or organizations who appeared in support of the American system of government and business.

    Every campus has its formal and informal groups which invite speakers. Each law school does the same thing. Many universities and colleges officially sponsor lecture and speaking programs. We all know the inadequacy of the representation of business in the programs.

    It will be said that few invitations would be extended to Chamber speakers.11 This undoubtedly would be true unless the Chamber aggressively insisted upon the right to be heard -- in effect, insisted upon "equal time." University administrators and the great majority of student groups and committees would not welcome being put in the position publicly of refusing a forum to diverse views, indeed, this is the classic excuse for allowing Communists to speak.

    The two essential ingredients are (i) to have attractive, articulate and well-informed speakers; and (ii) to exert whatever degree of pressure -- publicly and privately -- may be necessary to assure opportunities to speak. The objective always must be to inform and enlighten, and not merely to propagandize.

    Balancing of Faculties
    Perhaps the most fundamental problem is the imbalance of many faculties. Correcting this is indeed a long-range and difficult project. Yet, it should be undertaken as a part of an overall program. This would mean the urging of the need for faculty balance upon university administrators and boards of trustees.

    The methods to be employed require careful thought, and the obvious pitfalls must be avoided. Improper pressure would be counterproductive. But the basic concepts of balance, fairness and truth are difficult to resist, if properly presented to boards of trustees, by writing and speaking, and by appeals to alumni associations and groups.

    This is a long road and not one for the fainthearted. But if pursued with integrity and conviction it could lead to a strengthening of both academic freedom on the campus and of the values which have made America the most productive of all societies.

    Graduate Schools of Business
    The Chamber should enjoy a particular rapport with the increasingly influential graduate schools of business. Much that has been suggested above applies to such schools.

    Should not the Chamber also request specific courses in such schools dealing with the entire scope of the problem addressed by this memorandum? This is now essential training for the executives of the future.

    Secondary Education
    While the first priority should be at the college level, the trends mentioned above are increasingly evidenced in the high schools. Action programs, tailored to the high schools and similar to those mentioned, should be considered. The implementation thereof could become a major program for local chambers of commerce, although the control and direction -- especially the quality control -- should be retained by the National Chamber.

    What Can Be Done About the Public?
    Reaching the campus and the secondary schools is vital for the long-term. Reaching the public generally may be more important for the shorter term. The first essential is to establish the staffs of eminent scholars, writers and speakers, who will do the thinking, the analysis, the writing and the speaking. It will also be essential to have staff personnel who are thoroughly familiar with the media, and how most effectively to communicate with the public. Among the more obvious means are the following:

    Television
    The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as "Selling of the Pentagon"), but to the daily "news analysis" which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in "business" and free enterprise.

    This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints -- to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission -- should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.

    Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.

    Other Media
    Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.

    The Scholarly Journals
    It is especially important for the Chamber's "faculty of scholars" to publish. One of the keys to the success of the liberal and leftist faculty members has been their passion for "publication" and "lecturing." A similar passion must exist among the Chamber's scholars.

    Incentives might be devised to induce more "publishing" by independent scholars who do believe in the system.

    There should be a fairly steady flow of scholarly articles presented to a broad spectrum of magazines and periodicals -- ranging from the popular magazines (Life, Look, Reader's Digest, etc.) to the more intellectual ones (Atlantic, Harper's, Saturday Review, New York, etc.)13 and to the various professional journals.

    Books, Paperbacks and Pamphlets
    The news stands -- at airports, drugstores, and elsewhere -- are filled with paperbacks and pamphlets advocating everything from revolution to erotic free love. One finds almost no attractive, well-written paperbacks or pamphlets on "our side." It will be difficult to compete with an Eldridge Cleaver or even a Charles Reich for reader attention, but unless the effort is made -- on a large enough scale and with appropriate imagination to assure some success -- this opportunity for educating the public will be irretrievably lost.

    Paid Advertisements
    Business pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the media for advertisements. Most of this supports specific products; much of it supports institutional image making; and some fraction of it does support the system. But the latter has been more or less tangential, and rarely part of a sustained, major effort to inform and enlighten the American people.

    If American business devoted only 10% of its total annual advertising budget to this overall purpose, it would be a statesman-like expenditure.

    The Neglected Political Arena
    In the final analysis, the payoff -- short-of revolution -- is what government does. Business has been the favorite whipping-boy of many politicians for many years. But the measure of how far this has gone is perhaps best found in the anti-business views now being expressed by several leading candidates for President of the United States.

    It is still Marxist doctrine that the "capitalist" countries are controlled by big business. This doctrine, consistently a part of leftist propaganda all over the world, has a wide public following among Americans.

    Yet, as every business executive knows, few elements of American society today have as little influence in government as the American businessman, the corporation, or even the millions of corporate stockholders. If one doubts this, let him undertake the role of "lobbyist" for the business point of view before Congressional committees. The same situation obtains in the legislative halls of most states and major cities. One does not exaggerate to say that, in terms of political influence with respect to the course of legislation and government action, the American business executive is truly the "forgotten man."

    Current examples of the impotency of business, and of the near-contempt with which businessmen's views are held, are the stampedes by politicians to support almost any legislation related to "consumerism" or to the "environment."

    Politicians reflect what they believe to be majority views of their constituents. It is thus evident that most politicians are making the judgment that the public has little sympathy for the businessman or his viewpoint.

    The educational programs suggested above would be designed to enlighten public thinking -- not so much about the businessman and his individual role as about the system which he administers, and which provides the goods, services and jobs on which our country depends.

    But one should not postpone more direct political action, while awaiting the gradual change in public opinion to be effected through education and information. Business must learn the lesson, long ago learned by labor and other self-interest groups. This is the lesson that political power is necessary; that such power must be assidously (sic) cultivated; and that when necessary, it must be used aggressively and with determination -- without embarrassment and without the reluctance which has been so characteristic of American business.

    As unwelcome as it may be to the Chamber, it should consider assuming a broader and more vigorous role in the political arena.

    Neglected Opportunity in the Courts
    American business and the enterprise system have been affected as much by the courts as by the executive and legislative branches of government. Under our constitutional system, especially with an activist-minded Supreme Court, the judiciary may be the most important instrument for social, economic and political change.

    Other organizations and groups, recognizing this, have been far more astute in exploiting judicial action than American business. Perhaps the most active exploiters of the judicial system have been groups ranging in political orientation from "liberal" to the far left.

    The American Civil Liberties Union is one example. It initiates or intervenes in scores of cases each year, and it files briefs amicus curiae in the Supreme Court in a number of cases during each term of that court. Labor unions, civil rights groups and now the public interest law firms are extremely active in the judicial arena. Their success, often at business' expense, has not been inconsequential.

    This is a vast area of opportunity for the Chamber, if it is willing to undertake the role of spokesman for American business and if, in turn, business is willing to provide the funds.

    As with respect to scholars and speakers, the Chamber would need a highly competent staff of lawyers. In special situations it should be authorized to engage, to appear as counsel amicus in the Supreme Court, lawyers of national standing and reputation. The greatest care should be exercised in selecting the cases in which to participate, or the suits to institute. But the opportunity merits the necessary effort.

    Neglected Stockholder Power
    The average member of the public thinks of "business" as an impersonal corporate entity, owned by the very rich and managed by over-paid executives. There is an almost total failure to appreciate that "business" actually embraces -- in one way or another -- most Americans. Those for whom business provides jobs, constitute a fairly obvious class. But the 20 million stockholders -- most of whom are of modest means -- are the real owners, the real entrepreneurs, the real capitalists under our system. They provide the capital which fuels the economic system which has produced the highest standard of living in all history. Yet, stockholders have been as ineffectual as business executives in promoting a genuine understanding of our system or in exercising political influence.

    The question which merits the most thorough examination is how can the weight and influence of stockholders -- 20 million voters -- be mobilized to support (i) an educational program and (ii) a political action program.

    Individual corporations are now required to make numerous reports to shareholders. Many corporations also have expensive "news" magazines which go to employees and stockholders. These opportunities to communicate can be used far more effectively as educational media.

    The corporation itself must exercise restraint in undertaking political action and must, of course, comply with applicable laws. But is it not feasible -- through an affiliate of the Chamber or otherwise -- to establish a national organization of American stockholders and give it enough muscle to be influential?

    A More Aggressive Attitude
    Business interests -- especially big business and their national trade organizations -- have tried to maintain low profiles, especially with respect to political action.

    As suggested in the Wall Street Journal article, it has been fairly characteristic of the average business executive to be tolerant -- at least in public -- of those who attack his corporation and the system. Very few businessmen or business organizations respond in kind. There has been a disposition to appease; to regard the opposition as willing to compromise, or as likely to fade away in due time.

    Business has shunted confrontation politics. Business, quite understandably, has been repelled by the multiplicity of non-negotiable "demands" made constantly by self-interest groups of all kinds.

    While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system -- at all levels and at every opportunity -- be far more aggressive than in the past.

    There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.

    Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected -- where it counts the most -- by politicians, on the campus, and among the media.

    It is time for American business -- which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions -- to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.

    The Cost
    The type of program described above (which includes a broadly based combination of education and political action), if undertaken long term and adequately staffed, would require far more generous financial support from American corporations than the Chamber has ever received in the past. High level management participation in Chamber affairs also would be required.

    The staff of the Chamber would have to be significantly increased, with the highest quality established and maintained. Salaries would have to be at levels fully comparable to those paid key business executives and the most prestigious faculty members. Professionals of the great skill in advertising and in working with the media, speakers, lawyers and other specialists would have to be recruited.

    It is possible that the organization of the Chamber itself would benefit from restructuring. For example, as suggested by union experience, the office of President of the Chamber might well be a full-time career position. To assure maximum effectiveness and continuity, the chief executive officer of the Chamber should not be changed each year. The functions now largely performed by the President could be transferred to a Chairman of the Board, annually elected by the membership. The Board, of course, would continue to exercise policy control.

    Quality Control is Essential
    Essential ingredients of the entire program must be responsibility and "quality control." The publications, the articles, the speeches, the media programs, the advertising, the briefs filed in courts, and the appearances before legislative committees -- all must meet the most exacting standards of accuracy and professional excellence. They must merit respect for their level of public responsibility and scholarship, whether one agrees with the viewpoints expressed or not.

    Relationship to Freedom
    The threat to the enterprise system is not merely a matter of economics. It also is a threat to individual freedom.

    It is this great truth -- now so submerged by the rhetoric of the New Left and of many liberals -- that must be re-affirmed if this program is to be meaningful.

    There seems to be little awareness that the only alternatives to free enterprise are varying degrees of bureaucratic regulation of individual freedom -- ranging from that under moderate socialism to the iron heel of the leftist or rightist dictatorship.

    We in America already have moved very far indeed toward some aspects of state socialism, as the needs and complexities of a vast urban society require types of regulation and control that were quite unnecessary in earlier times. In some areas, such regulation and control already have seriously impaired the freedom of both business and labor, and indeed of the public generally. But most of the essential freedoms remain: private ownership, private profit, labor unions, collective bargaining, consumer choice, and a market economy in which competition largely determines price, quality and variety of the goods and services provided the consumer.

    In addition to the ideological attack on the system itself (discussed in this memorandum), its essentials also are threatened by inequitable taxation, and -- more recently -- by an inflation which has seemed uncontrollable.14 But whatever the causes of diminishing economic freedom may be, the truth is that freedom as a concept is indivisible. As the experience of the socialist and totalitarian states demonstrates, the contraction and denial of economic freedom is followed inevitably by governmental restrictions on other cherished rights. It is this message, above all others, that must be carried home to the American people.

    Conclusion
    It hardly need be said that the views expressed above are tentative and suggestive. The first step should be a thorough study. But this would be an exercise in futility unless the Board of Directors of the Chamber accepts the fundamental premise of this paper, namely, that business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late.


    Footnotes

    1 . Variously called: the "free enterprise system," "capitalism," and the "profit system." The American political system of democracy under the rule of law is also under attack, often by the same individuals and organizations who seek to undermine the enterprise system.

    2 . Richmond News Leader, June 8, 1970. Column of William F. Buckley, Jr.

    3 . N.Y. Times Service article, reprinted Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 17, 1971.

    4 . Stewart Alsop, Yale and the Deadly Danger, Newsweek, May 18. 1970.

    5 . Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch, July 7, 1971.

    6 . Dr. Milton Friedman, Prof. of Economics, U. of Chicago, writing a foreword to Dr. Arthur A. Shenfield's Rockford College lectures entitled "The Ideological War Against Western Society," copyrighted 1970 by Rockford College.

    7 . Fortune. May, 1971, p. 145. This Fortune analysis of the Nader influence includes a reference to Nader's visit to a college where he was paid a lecture fee of $2,500 for "denouncing America's big corporations in venomous language . . . bringing (rousing and spontaneous) bursts of applause" when he was asked when he planned to run for President.

    8 . The Washington Post, Column of William Raspberry, June 28, 1971.

    9 . Jeffrey St. John, The Wall Street Journal, May 21, 1971.

    * . Italic emphasis added by Mr. Powell.

    10 . Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly, "The Total Break with America, The Fifth Annual Conference of Socialist Scholars," Sept. 15, 1969.

    11 . On many campuses freedom of speech has been denied to all who express moderate or conservative viewpoints.

    12 . It has been estimated that the evening half-hour news programs of the networks reach daily some 50,000,000 Americans.

    13 . One illustration of the type of article which should not go unanswered appeared in the popular "The New York" of July 19, 1971. This was entitled "A Populist Manifesto" by ultra liberal Jack Newfield -- who argued that "the root need in our country is 'to redistribute wealth'."

    14 . The recent "freeze" of prices and wages may well be justified by the current inflationary crisis. But if imposed as a permanent measure the enterprise system will have sustained a near fatal blow.

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